485 patients with a lumbar disc herniation were operated upon microsurgically. The results, the rate of complications and true recurrent herniations will be presented. The results of the microsurgical technique are compared to the results of the conventional technique. The final outcome after the microsurgical operation was excellent in 39%, good in 34% and satisfactory in 19%, 9% of the patients had a poor final outcome. The results obtained with microsurgery are attained with the standard techniques only by few groups, probably highly experienced surgeons. Following microsurgery a uniformly high percentage (88-98%) of results are reported as being satisfactory, whereas the analogous figures range between 40 and 98% following the standard technique.